Sparks High alum Kevin Partida powers Reno 1868 FC to first home win
RENO, Nev. – If Reno 1868 FC midfielder Kevin Partida’s pro debut was special last week, his first pro start Saturday night in his hometown was priceless.
The Sparks native helped bolster Reno 1868 FC to a 2-0 win over OKC Energy FC at home, the club’s first home win of 2018, in front of more than 4,100 strong at Greater Nevada Field.
Partida’s first goal as a pro came in the second half with Reno holding a one-man advantage due to Miguel Gonzalez red card just before halftime.
Partida, a defensive midfielder, helped Reno hold strong in the first half defensively before finding his chance in the 64th minute off the Seth Casiple assist.
Adding to Saturday night’s storybook win was midfielder Lindo Mfeka, who helped put the match away in the 87th minute after coming on as a sub.
Mfeka worked OKC on the counter and tapped-in an assist by forward Antoine Hoppenot. The assist was Hoppenot’s fourth assist of the 2018 season, which leads all Reno 1868 FC players.
The goal was also Mfeka’s fourth career goal against OKC Energy FC.
Partida, Mfeka and the rest of Reno 1868 FC now hit the road for a four-match away trip before returning to Greater Nevada Field on May 19 to face Seattle Sounders 2 (7:15 p.m. kickoff). The first 1,868 fans at that match will receive a free t-shirt courtesy of KTVN. Fans can purchase tickets for that match at Reno1868FC.com/tickets.
Kevin Partida, Reno 1868 FC midfielder
On his goal and family watching…
“Nothing much was going through my mind. I was just focused on playing the game but when the goal came, it was definitely special to see the out there.”
“I had plenty of options which kept the defender in front of me guessing, and I just took the shot.”
On playing for Reno…
“I was excited when the team came and then to get the goal, I think it was good timing for us.”
Goal meaning to Northern Nevada…
“I think it puts some motivation out to the kids out there. I think, more than anything, it was important because it relieved pressure for the team to get that first goal.”
Lino Mfeka, Reno 1868 FC midfielder
On two wins in a row...
“We have been working hard at practice, finding our style and what we like best. Now we are showing it is working.”
On his goal…
“I was looking to take it that first time, but I waited, I was patient.”
On the locker room…
“They are pumped, everyone is screaming. Jordan Murrell is screaming right now. It’s crazy, we are playing music.”
Ian Russell, Reno 1868 FC head coach
On second win in a row...
“It was a good atmosphere. Fans brought a lot of atmosphere to the game and I think the players fed off of that.”
On Kevin Partida…
“I think last game against Portland, he came in and changed the game. I want to play him, he brings great energy to the team.”
On Lindo Mfeka’s role…
“He is a great player and finding his grove now. He is a great sub, he was a great sub in the last game and he is going to start soon. Whatever role he plays, it’s going to be effective.”